Digital Security: Web Content Filtering

Sep 10, 2014


Unrestricted access to the web on your network devices introduces a number of problems including inappropriate/offensive/illegal content, malware and more.


As a parent this one is really important to me. The internet is an amazing but scary resource. I worry what my kids and their friends might be exposed too, and also the dangers they could bring to me.

A major concern is inappropriate content. Even innocent searches can lead to some dark corners of the internet very quickly. There is a lot of content I don't want my kids to see. Other parents might feel differently but I also don't want their kids to be exposed to that kind of content when they are guests in our home.

Another concern is illegal content like pirated music, movies, or video games. As a software provider I feel strongly about piracy, probably stronger than most, and I don't want my networks to be used for downloading stolen intellectual property. Illegal file sharing also exposes me - if my kids or their friends were to upload pirated material from my network I could be held responsible.

Malware, viruses and the like are another concern. Kids click some weird links, and are more likely to end up on sites that could delivery malicious content to my network.

The solution? A content filtering solution control what kinds of sites and material can be accessed by the machines on your network.



lOpen DNS

Supported Platforms: All

The Open DNS Umbrella solution blocks malware in two ways: users are prevented from clicking on known malicious links so they can’t download malware, and infected devices are prevented from phoning home to botnet command and control, so botnets are unable to launch malicious tasks. Unlike many Secure Web Gateway appliances that only provide security for HTTP/S traffic, Umbrella uniquely blocks malicious traffic that travels over any port, protocol or application.

OpenDNS costs $37.00 per user per year if you have more than 10 employees at your shop. If you only have 5 employees or less you can use their Prosumer product at $20.00 per user.



Business Class Router or Hotspot with UTM (Unified Threat Management) Firewall

Related Content

This post was one of a series of five that discussed different aspects of digital security. It was based on content from a presentation at the 2014 SAF Annual Convention and posted in the wake of the recent celebrity photo hacking scandal in September after I heard from some people asking for more information. Other entries in the series appear below.

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